SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

CANCELLED: The China Debate 2020: China will Sustain its Economic Rise

Various speakers

Date: 13 May 2020Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 13 May 2020Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre (BGLT)

Type of Event: Annual Lecture

**This event has been cancelled to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. We apologise for any disappointment caused and thank you for your understanding.**


The economic transformation of China since Deng Xiaoping launched the ‘reform and opening’ in 1979 has been phenomenal. China is now not only the second largest economy in the world, but also home to a number of world leading companies and cutting edge technologies. Indeed, its success has gone beyond the wildest imagination of Deng and his colleagues. Since becoming leader of China in 2012, Xi Jinping has set a course to maintain the momentum of its economic rise, both by rebalancing the economy to make growth more sustainable and by seeking to strengthen innovation and enhancing the technological sophistication of Chinese industries. But China has also entered a new era, one in which decoupling with the USA is unfolding at precisely the time that Beijing needs to break out of the Middle-Income Trap. Achieving High-Income Status has hitherto not been achieved by a major country that was not democratic.

Will China be able to sustain its economic rise? Will the economic miracle that has defined China’s development during the last four decades be a sufficient basis from which to lift it out of the Middle-Income Trap? Will the changes in the international environment unleashed by Xi’s assertive foreign policy and the US-China Trade War prove to be insurmountable obstacles? Has the transformation of policy making in China under Xi made China more or less favourably placed to sustain its rise? These are some of the questions which this debate will address.


  • Moderator: Steve Tsang (SOAS China Institute)
  • Xiaolan Fu (University of Oxford)
  • George Magnus (University of Oxford and SOAS)
  • Barry Naughton (University of California, San Diego)
  • Yongding Yu (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

Speakers biographies

The debate will be followed by a drinks reception to which all guests are invited.


Registration for this event is closed as this event has been cancelled. 

£10 Standard
£3 Full-time students*
Free SOAS staff*

*SOAS students, non-SOAS students and SOAS staff must show a valid student/staff ID card on the day.

All tickets sold are final and are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.

Organiser: SOAS China Institute

Contact email:

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4823